Macbook Compare 2022

Macbook Compare 2022: a reader asks…

I’m looking at getting a new Macbook in the next month or so. Can you please give me a rundown comparison of the different types and options to help me make a decision on which one to get?

Sure! I’m assuming you don’t want to wait for all the Macbooks to be refreshed to the latest M2 chip variants, as it could be spring (or later) before we see that. Here’s a half-dozen comparison points for the currently available lineup:

  1. Basic Models: New Macbooks come in two basic flavors, the super-light Macbook Air series, and the fairly-light-but-powerful Macbook Pro series.
  2. Screen size: With the Macbook Air, you only get 13.6″ screen size, while the Macbook Pro comes in 13″, 14″ and 16″ screen sizes.
  3. Processor/chip: The Macbook Air 2020 models with the M1 chip are still being sold, alongside the 2022 models with the M2 chip. The Macbook Pro 13″ is the 2022 model and comes with the M2 Pro chip, while the 14″ and 16″ are 2021 models that come with the M1 (Pro or Max) chip. There is also an M1 Ultra upgrade option available.
    • Comparing those chips, M2 is faster/more powerful than the M1, the Pro chip is faster/more powerful than the plain chip, the Max chip is faster/more powerful than the Pro chip, and the Ultra chip is the most powerful. That said, the performance with the M2 chip lags behind the M1 Pro chip.
  4. Color: Apple gives you more exterior colors for the Macbook Air (space grey, gold and silver for the M1 version, midnight, starlight, space grey and sliver for the M2 version). For the Macbook Pro series, your color choices are limited to space grey and silver.
  5. Weight: The Macbook Air series is 2.7-2.8lbs., and the Macbook Pro series are 3.0lbs. (13″), 3.5lbs. (14″), and 4.7lbs. (16″).

If mobility is your biggest need, then the Macbook Air line (M2 chip) is probably the way to go. If you need power and speed (and/or the ability to drive multiple external monitors), then the Macbook Pro line (with the M1 Pro or Max chip) is the way to go. I’ll leave it up to you to determine whether screen size matters. For me, the larger the better, as I don’t want to a) have to squint and b) have to scroll a lot.

Once you’ve determined which series and model (screen size) to go with, then the next thing to do is look at options. You’ll be using the configurator at, and you’ll see that depending on your model choice you’ll first be given a few models to choose from. Choose whichever model has the biggest SSD and then you can customize from there once you select the model. The first upgrades are these three:

  1. Processor upgrade – For the Macbook Pro line (not available on Macbook Air), you can upgrade the processor chip to faster/better performance.
  2. Memory upgrade – for Macbook Air and Pro, you can upgrade the RAM (aka, unified memory). I think the current sweet spot is 16gb, more is always better if you like to keep a lot of windows/tabs open.
  3. Storage upgrade – I personally think 1tb is the sweet spot to ensure you don’t run out of internal storage space, less if you don’t mind keeping more files in the cloud.

Pre-installed software is also offered, but unless you have a specific need, don’t both to add any of these. Once you’ve added the laptop to your shopping bag, you’ll be given some additional things to add. Since you’re getting a mobile device, I consider AppleCare+ to be a worthwhile investment. You can choose annual coverage that renews automatically, or get a slight price break by buying 3 years of coverage up-front.

You can add various cables displays, mouse or external trackpad, external keyboard and more to your bag, what you add depends on how you’re going to use the laptop. One option that isn’t offered which I always consider: an extra power supply. You may have to search the Apple store to find the right one that will work with your model Macbook. With this extra item, you can leave the power connection at home for quick connecting, and keep the 2nd power supply in your travel bag for mobile use.

Hopefully there’s enough information above for you to make your decision and complete your purchase. When the new laptop arrives, you can run Migration Assistant (in the Utilities subfolder of your applications folder) on both your old Mac and new Mac to transfer everything over. This works quite simply and well. Another thing: It’s quite possible your “new” Mac will need some software updates, so apply them once you’re finished with the initial setup and transfer, as well as turning on automatic updates. And finally, decide what you’ll do with the old Mac. You can wipe it and set it back to its original factory setup, and then donate it or recycle. Please note that I highly recommend you prepare the Mac so nobody else can retrieve your data. Here’s what to do:

  1. Sign your Mac out of iTunes, iCloud and iMessage, unpair any connected Bluetooth devices, and cancel any AppleCare+ subscription you may have on that Mac. You can also go to your Apple account on the new Mac and remove the old Mac from your devices list.
  2. Erase your Mac by starting up in Recovery Mode and using Disk Utility (Apple’s instructions here).
  3. When Disk Utility has completed erasing and reinstalling MacOS on the computer, it will be just as it was when you first got it. Do not complete the first-time setup, just shut down the computer.

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